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Sticky-fingered bandits nabbed in Quebec maple syrup heist

AP Photo/Jim Cole
The trees were already of the opinion that the syrup was stolen.
  • David Yanofsky
By David Yanofsky

Editor of code, visuals, and data

Published This article is more than 2 years old.

The Quebec Provincial Police have arrested three people in a maple syrup heist that captivated the world this summer. The suspects, who were expected in Canadian court on Tuesday, are accused of stealing millions of dollars of syrup from the “strategic international reserve” maintained by the Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers in Saint-Louis-de-Blandford.

The arrests come months after syrup officials noticed the missing breakfast-and-dessert accoutrement in the warehouse while preparing to transport it to another facility in August. They also follow Statistics Canada’s 2012 syrup production estimates, which were released Friday. The new data show Canadian taps dripped 8.1% less maple sap in 2012 than the previous year, perhaps raising the impact–and value–of the goods stolen in Quebec.

Canadian syrup production has steadily increased since the 1970s. Until recent years, US production kept pace, and by 2007, after three years of production- limiting quotas in Canada, the difference between the two countries’ production was only 300,000 US gallons. However, repeal of the quotas has been followed by the gap widening to almost 6 million gallons in 2011, the most recently available US data, and this year is not looking much better for the US.

Maple syrup prices are near an all-time high. In the US, prices rose 36% from 2000 to 2010. In Canada, syrup prices were up 61% over the same period.

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